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3.5 billion dollars and counting: India helping crisis-hit Sri Lanka

India on Tuesday said it is fully supportive of Sri Lanka's democracy, stability and economic recovery. 

India has given 3 and a half billion dollars in aid to crisis-hit Sri Lanka
Colombo, First Published May 10, 2022, 3:48 PM IST

Amidst the ongoing crisis in its neighbouring country where protestors have set government assets and political leaders' houses on fire, India on Tuesday said it is fully supportive of Sri Lanka's democracy, stability and economic recovery. 

India has provided support worth over $3.5 billion this year to Sri Lanka to fight against the crisis that the island nation has been facing for the last two months. 

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In addition, "The people of India have provided assistance for mitigating the shortages of essential items such as food, medicine among others," External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said in response to media queries on developments in Sri Lanka. 

"India will always be guided by the best interests of the people of Sri Lanka expressed through democratic processes," he added. 

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Clashes between forces and civilians have led to the killing of eight people, forcing President Gotayaba Rajapaksa's administration to give emergency powers to the military and police. 

Several MPs' houses have been torched hours after Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa resigned from his post on Monday. Sri Lanka is facing such a scenario for the first time since the country got freedom in 1948. 

Opposition members have been demanding the former prime minister's arrest over inciting his supporters to attack anti-government protestors. 

Also Read: Sri Lanka economic crisis: A diplomatic opportunity for India

Looking at the unprecedented situation, the Colombo Stock Exchange announced Tuesday as a market holiday. The exchange was closed for a week amid the worst economic crisis in Sri Lanka.

The curfew, which was supposed to be lifted today, has been extended till Wednesday after reports of violent protests from several parts of the country.

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Image: Sri Lankan university students clash with police as water cannons and tear gas are used to disperse them near the parliament, Colombo, Sri Lanka. Photograph: Photo by Tharaka Basnayaka/NurPhoto via Getty Images

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